Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   old mirror image guy
Monday, December 5 2011

location: "Creekside Doublewide," Stingy Hollow Road, south of Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia

This morning at 9:30am I said goodbye to my mother (Hoagie) and brother (Don) and began the drive back to Hurley, NY. I'd been drinking orange juice with booze (this time gin) again last night, and I could feel that this was going to be a bad intestine day. But it doesn't take much physical comfort to pilot an automobile. Also, because I'd drunk no coffee and didn't need to stop anywhere to piss, I made good time heading northward on I-81. I had that weird hypersexualized feeling again, which made me feel a sexual connection with other drivers on the road. Cars interact with each other via traffic rules, and somehow today this felt like flirting. Interestingly, though, this hypersexuality evaporated after I stopped at a rest area in southern Pennsylvania so I could piss and feast like glutton from a tub of last night's leftover pasta stir fry. As had turned out to be the case the other day, by then the lingering intestinal pain were nothing more than hunger pangs.
My major stop on the drive home was at a big truckstop called "Love's" on I-78 west of Allentown. It's a great place to buy off-brand gas and spot people with weird spacings between their eyes. While there, I refueled and bought beverages and french fries (the latter from McDonalds). When I went into the bathroom, I happened to catch sight of myself in a double mirror, the kind that returns an image of you that is not a mirror image (and so can be mistaken for someone else). And for the first time I saw that guy and momentarily thought he looked kind of old, maybe even middle age. I'm 43, so I can't maintain my youthful self image forever, but it nevertheless came across as something of a grim milestone (more so than any particularly birthday can be).
I made it home at around 4:30pm, meaning I'd done the drive in seven hours (something of a record). Driving a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in the normal American way (65-80mph on the interstates, five to ten miles per hour above speed limits elsewhere), I got 43 miles to the gallon for the entire trip to Virginia and back. On the interstates, I averaged around 48 miles to the gallon.

Usually I visit Staunton, I come bearing new technologies for my family and then when I leave, I sneak off with relics from which my mother (and, in the past, father) would never willingly part. On this particular trip, I'd taken a pair of DECT 6.0 phones down to Staunton to install at both Creekside and in my childhood home so as to provide a basic intercom and also replace the crappy 1970s-era phone my mother had been using. In return, I took a number of my father's old things. These included some of my books that he had come to rely on, particularly Orson K. Miller's Mushrooms of North America. I also took two rolls of asphalt roofing (a technology none of the existing buildings there now use), a mechanical corn dekerneler, and numerous things from my father's old 1969 Chevy pickup truck (which hasn't been driven in seven or eight years). In there I found a good old-fashioned bumperjack, several screwdrivers, a Coleman cookstove, and a geological pick with a handle that my father had whittled out by hand. These were pieces of equipment he relied upon back when he would go botanizing in the Appalachian forest.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next